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GILAS OUTLASTS JAPAN

Game Today
(Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium)
5 p.m. – Philippines vs South Korea

TAIPEI —

He was right.

For the second straight day, Gilas needed a late explosion to beat winless Japan, 100-85, in the William Jones Cup yesterday at the Taipei Peace Basketball Gymnasium here.

Christian Standhardinger should be greatly credited for the win after the Filipino-German recruit produced 22 points and 15 rebounds – his second double-double – in nearly 28 minutes of action.

Gilas import Mike Myers also had a solid outing with 17 points and the same number of rebounds, and so were sharpshooter Matthew Wright, who added 15 points, Kiefer Ravena and Pio Jalalon, who contributed 11 points apiece.

The 6-foot-8 Standhardinger and Wright starred in the team’s telling12-0 run that was capped by Ravena’s basket as they turned a one-point deficit (73-72) to an 84-73 lead with 3:11 left in the game.

“Like I told the team last night, in an elite tournament like this, there is no easy game. There is no such thing as easy game. We felt that we’re going in for a tough match with Japan,” said the veteran mentor Reyes.

“In the end we’re just fortunate (to win the game),” added Reyes as Gilas – composed of PBA rookies called the ‘cadets’ and amateur standouts – defeated an equally young Under-24 team of Japan.

The victory extended the national team’s win streak to three, or since losing its opening game against Canada. More importantly, that improved the record of Gilas to 3-1 in the team standings.

Likewise, it prepared the national team with its highly anticipated encounter with South Korea today at 5 p.m. at the same venue.

“My concern is the next game against South Korea,” said Reyes, who gave reserves Von Pessumal, Kobe Paras and Alfonso Gotladera a chance to play so as to give his regular players Wright, Standhardinger, Ravena, Roger Pogoy and Myers more time to rest.

“We don’t know how we can compete against Korea, but we’ll try our best,” Reyes mentioned.

The 28-year-old Standhardinger, who mother is from Angono, Rizal, said that the game against Japan thought them a lesson, which they hope to use when they face the Koreans at 5 p.m. today.

“We started out flat against a really energized Japan team. Any game, we have to respect the game, respect our opponent,” said Standhardinger, who played ball with Nebraska and Hawaii.

Tomorrow, the Nationals play Iraq, then takes on Lithuania on Friday, India on Saturday, and Iran on Sunday – the final day of competition.

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